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October 25, 2012
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Building livable communities that improve people's lives

  Leadership and Management 
  • Why leaders should think like physicists
    Physicists know that every action brings a reaction -- and leaders should understand that their actions bring reactions from their workers, writes George Ambler. It's impossible to know precisely how your actions will shape others, so it's important to be mindful and live up to your principles, Ambler explains. "[A]s leaders, we never know when and what impact we're having on others," he writes. George Ambler blog (10/23)
  • Ore. city council will review revised comprehensive plan
    The Stayton, Ore., City Council will review a comprehensive plan that includes higher density for future development and land rezoning that will affect as many as 70 property owners. The plan is meant to document general policies, land use and long-term growth, and it was developed through two years of work by a six-person committee. The Stayton Mail (Ore.) (free registration) (10/23) Email this Story
  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Utah county manager says positions might have to go unfilled
    The Summit County, Utah, manager recommended that three vacant positions go unfilled after petitions stopped two tax increases from going into effect. The county had budgeted for about $1.6 million in revenue from the increases, and the county manager said he thinks cuts that are now necessary will lead to a noticeable decrease in services. Two patrol positions in the Sheriff's Office and an assistant-planner position would go unfilled under the manager's plan. Park Record (Park City, Utah) (10/23) Email this Story
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • Colo. city council aims to revamp ethics rules
    The Boulder, Colo., City Council discussed a set of ethics "expectations" at a study session to improve the city's code. The rules, which would address accepting gifts, conflicts of interest and financial disclosure, come at the mayor's urging and amid criticism from residents about council members voting for business partners and personal friends to sit on volunteer boards. Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) (10/23) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Md. city council changes charter amendment at residents' urging
    The Takoma Park, Md., City Council revised a proposed charter amendment to require the city manager to live in the city, after several residents expressed opposition, saying it would limit the applicant pool. The amendment was changed to allow the City Council to pass an ordinance that would require the city manager to live in the city or that would state a preference about the manager's residence. The council might vote on the amendment in the next few weeks. The Gazette (Gaithersburg, Md.) (10/24) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Calif. city manager announces retirement
    Carlsbad, Calif., City Manager Lisa Hildabrand announced that she will retire at year-end, after suddenly taking leave last week. Hildabrand has worked for the city for 21 years, serving as finance director, assistant city manager, interim city manager and city manager. San Diego Union-Tribune (10/23) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • Nov. 8 Web conference will focus on attracting and retaining retailers
    As the economy rebounds, communities have a dual role: Attract new businesses, while keeping existing businesses healthy and strong. During the ICMA Web conference "Economic Development: Attracting Retailers and Keeping Them," scheduled from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 8, you will discuss how to target retailers, partner with developers and commercial brokers, and use incentives to stimulate development. The event will feature Lisa Hill, vice president of Buxton's public-sector division; Steven Lantsberger, economic-development director for Hesperia, Calif.; and Jeff Fleming, assistant city manager for Kingsport, Tenn. Register.
  • Raise the visibility of ethics at your workplace
    Now is the time to strengthen the ethical culture of your organization by ensuring that every member of your staff understands the organization's values and can deal with ethics-related, on-the-job issues. ICMA offers training, workshops and technical assistance on such ethics-related topics: Ethics at Work, the Ethical Survivor, Promoting an Ethical Culture, the Leader's Role in Building an Ethical Culture, and Elected Officials and the Public Trust. Each program can be customized for staff, leadership, elected officials, and boards and commissions. Contact the ICMA Ethics Center at (202) 962-3521 for more information. You can also visit for general information on ethics-related topics.
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  Editor's Note 
  • Correction
    A story in Wednesday's issue of ICMA SmartBrief misstated the qualifications of Satellite Beach, Fla., Interim City Manager Ayn Samuelson. Samuelson has two relevant graduate degrees, as well as more than a decade of experience working with nonprofits, businesses and governments at several levels. SmartBrief regrets the error.
Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we seek too late the one that is open."
--Alexander Graham Bell,
American inventor

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